I can't say the exact moment jazz crept into my psyche. I do remember when I first realized that its hard core old school followers must have a cool subculture of their own. My chosen subculture at the time was punk rock. It was years before I bought any jazz records, and I really didn't have any interest in it. I was in San Francisco, North Beach to be exact, in the shadows of the Condor Club (where Carol Doda put topless dancing on the map). There was a used record store, so of course I had to check it out. It was dimly lit, stocked almost entirely with old jazz records. The guy at the counter was smoking and what natural light there was filtered in the front door and between the album covers and signs covering most of the window, and through the smoke, illuminating dust particles like some miniature solar system. The place smelled of old vinyl, dusty cardboard, cigarette smoke and that kind of musty smell that could be mildew or buried treasure. I don't know what was playing, and didn't even think to ask. But I do remember it being the perfect music for that scenario. When I did eventually start giving jazz a fair shake (not all that long ago), the stuff I gravitated to was what I imagined might have been on the turntable at that record store. This one by Charles Mingus is one of those.
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